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Two Rallies In Northern Va., Two Very Different Points Of View

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Performers at the Northern Virginia Tea Party rally in Arlington sing the Star-Spangled Banner.
Jonathan Wilson
Performers at the Northern Virginia Tea Party rally in Arlington sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

As worries mount over the nation's financial crisis once again, there's no shortage of opinions in the D.C. area about how the government can help fix things. Two groups with starkly opposing points of view rallied at different sites in Virginia yesterday carrying two vastly different messages.

D.C. resident Andre Henson, 22, marched with hundreds of other unemployed protesters outside the Herndon, Va. office of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), demanding that Congress do more to create jobs.

Henson needs a job to make sure his 8-month-old daughter has what she needs. He says there's enough anger over the economy for all the politicians in Washington, Republican and Democrat.

"We put them in office, and they made promises they can't keep," he says. "Like, they're supposed to create jobs, and they have not done that."

Kendall Fells, the executive director of Our DC, which organized the protest, says congressmen such as Wolf are more worried about protecting corporate profits than they are about creating jobs for average Americans.

Our DC has targeted Wolf for voting against Homeland Security funding that they say could have brought 20,000 jobs to D.C.; their "Where's Wolf" campaign has continued for six separate protests, including one at Wolf's church in Vienna Aug. 15.

"And it's time for them to use the money that they got from us, and the money that they're making off our backs to put us back to work while we're suffering out here," Fells says.

But while Fells and his fellow protesters were calling on Congress to create jobs, Northern Virginia Tea Party members were gathering in Arlington and calling for a different approach.

Alexandria resident Phillip Bell says what government needs to do is lower taxes for everyone, and reduce restrictions on corporations -- the only real job creators America can count on.

"What we need to do is free up everybody. The folks on Wall Street didn't do anything that's bad," Bell says. "Let's let them succeed too and let everybody else go along."

Bell says he's optimistic about the economy, but only if leaders in Washington move toward letting individual Americans keep more of their own money.

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